UIPM 2023 Pentathlon Junior World Championships: Amer & Mohamed deliver Mixed Relay gold for Egypt
- Egypt claim third gold of week in Druskininkai (LTU)
- Women’s champion Unterberger (GER) adds silver with Klinkert
- Joy for host nation as Adomaityte and Vagnorius (LTU) claim bronze
Egypt had the final say of a captivating week as Zeina Amer and Moutaz Mohamed combined for a wonderful Mixed Relay gold on the closing day of the UIPM 2023 Pentathlon Junior World Championships.
It was a day of consistency across all disciplines for Egypt (Amer/Mohamed) as they held off a diligent challenge from Germany with newly crowned Women’s Individual champion Josefine Unterberger adding silver alongside Moriz Klinkert.
At the end of the Laser Run, a tight battle for bronze saw Elzbieta Adomaityte and Paulius Vagnorius of Lithuania dig deep to give the host nation a happy ending to a great week of competition as the world’s best Under 22 athletes showed their promise and prowess.
Korea (Sumin Shin & Seung Kim) finished 4th with Poland (Katarzyna Debska & Lukasz Zawada) close behind and Guatemala (Paula Sophia Valencia Franco & Juan Ochoa) 6th.
The gold medal was Egypt’s third of the week, the same tally as France but an additional two bronze medals meant the French topped the medal table, with Germany in third. In total, nine nations made it on to the podium in a hugely signifiant week for the sport, with fans around the world watching live coverage of Modern Pentathlon with the integrated Obstacle discipline for the first time.
After a wonderful season for its athletes at all age grades, the Egyptian flag has been a familiar sight on the podium and leaderboard and Amer & Mohamed (EGY) combined for an impressive 31 victories in the Fencing Ranking Round before adding four more points in the Bonus Round.
Lithuania (Adomaityte/Vagnorius) weren’t far behind with 29 victories in the Ranking Round. The best performers in the Bonus Round came further down the leaderboard where Louison Cazaly and Melvin Perrier of France added 10 points and Czech Republic (Barbora Hartmanova & Jan Toman) claimed eight.
On Super Saturday, Unterberger (GER) had made a significant move towards individual gold on the Obstacles and the new discipline’s importance was underlined again as she combined with Klinkert to propel Germany into the lead, thanks to a superb time of 1:17.21, 14sec quicker than Egypt (Amer/Mohamed).
Yet even the Germans couldn’t match the blistering mark of Poland (Debska/Zawada) who were faultless in a time of 1:14.66.
Egypt (Amer/Mohamed) regained the overall lead with a solid swim, finishing 4th-fastest in the pool in 2:00.64, while the Germans werenleft in the middle of the 13-strong field. Three countries broke the 2min mark with Yuri Suzuki and Yousuke Tomita of Japan fastest of all in 1:57.76.
While Egypt (Amer/Mohamed) set off first, they only had a slim 4sec lead. With individual gold and silver medalists Unterberger (GER) and Debska (POL) hot on her heels, Amer (EGY) had to keep her nerve and she did just that, running and shooting well to keep the challenge at bay before Unterberger (GER) moved up on her shoulder at the changeover. Behind them, Adomaityte (LTU) had pulled the hosts into bronze contention having started 17 seconds behind Debska (POL).
Gold medallist Amer (EGY) said: “It feels great. This is my second Junior World Championships medal, counting yesterday’s Team medal. It was a great experience and experiencing it with Moutaz. He’s a great teammate, fast runner and good swimmer. We pretty much had our eyes on gold from the beginning of the day.”
Mohamed (EGY) added: “I am so very happy. It’s great to be partnering with Zeina. She is so, so good in Obstacle. She is the best.”
Silver medallist Unterberger (GER) said: “Yeah, it’s nice to now have the full stack! Moriz was the best partner I could have had. Fencing was not the best discipline today. But in the end we give our best and in Obstacle we jumped to the front and the rest was quite to finish second. It’s quite a nice feeling because it’s always a good feeling competing as a team.”
Klinkert (GER) added: “Yeah, it was quite nice on the Obstacle. At least I did not make any mistakes this time because the last few times I always messed up at least one obstacle but this time I came though and it was a good time. It’s fun.”
Bronze medallist Adomaityte (LTU) said: “It’s amazing. Until the finish I thought we couldn’t make it. I thought ‘is the medal slipping away?’ And then he got the nitro pedal and I was so happy, I was shouting and feeling it all. I am so happy for him and for me. It’s so much fun. It feels like gold! It’s so many good emotions.”
Vagnorius (LTU) concluded: “The first shooting was really troublesome. It threw me off. But I love the last lap. I just have the energy for it and I sent it!”
UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said: “As the UIPM 2023 Pentathlon Junior World Championships comes to an end, I must thank our National Federation of Lithuania for presenting us with facilities here that are unbelievably super – a clean, professional centre for different sports but which is very useful for our sport.
“We have the support of the City Government, which is very important, and also the National Olympic Committee of Lithuania whose President, Daina Gudzineviciute, I met a few days ago.
“I congratulate all teams who took part in today’s Mixed Relay. We saw some wonderful performances with the race for the bronze medal particularly exciting and giving the Lithuanian team a great moment.
“The Asian Games coming up this week will be the biggest Asian Games ever, and this is a qualification competition for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. We are looking forward to this and also the Pan American Games, so we have several very important Modern Pentathlon competitions remaining this season.”
UIPM Executive Board Member for Sport Janusz Peciak, OLY said: “I am very happy to have seen the athletes’ performances today. I think it was a great competition and organisation. The Obstacle discipline was a challenge but you could see that each time the athletes were getting better and better and today, in the Mixed Relay, the Obstacle discipline was very exciting. You need drama in sport.
“Overall it’s been a fantastic week for the athletes and the coaches and judges. Already I am looking forward to the Olympics Games in Los Angeles when many of these athletes, I am sure, will compete in 2028.”
Lithuanian Modern Pentathlon Federation President Aistis Baronas said: “This is the second and the biggest competition which we have hosted here in Druskininkai, Lithuania. We are really, really happy that so many athletes are coming here and we are promoting Druskininkai as the spa centre of the world. The most important thing is the facility — it is perfect. It works 100 per cent and all of the athletes and delegations love it.
“For the future, we hope that more and more athletes will come to Druskininkai. Not just for competitions but for training camps. Of course competitions are our main goal but training camps let us grow together in union as athletes, especially with the new discipline.”
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The UIPM 2023 Pentathlon Junior World Championships has now concluded. Visit the UIPM website or download UIPM Central from your app store to catch up on all of the results. Follow World Pentathlon on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or X for additional content.